We are seeing strong demand from rural and smaller markets: Ajay Motwani

Adani Wilmar Ltd (AWL) is one of the fastest-growing food FMCG companies in India. The company has the largest range of edible oils spanning across the categories of Soya, Sun, Mustard, Rice bran, Groundnut, Cottonseed and the revolutionary Vivo oil. The company has extended its basket of offerings with the introduction of soap – Alife. Besides oil, AWL has also forayed into packaged Basmati Rice, Pulses, Soya Chunks, Besan, Wheat Flour and recently launched superfood Khichdi.


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Fortune has recently unveiled a new TV Commercial of Fortune Soya Badi, featuring former Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly. The new TVC started airing from August 20, 2020 in West Bengal. The TVC, which revolves around a girl playing cricket, has been directed by director duo Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee of Windows production house. The TVC stresses on health, fitness, and nutrition, which are the qualities that Fortune stands for.

In an interaction with Adgully, Ajay Motwani, Marketing Head, Adani Wilmar, speaks about consumer preferences in the COVID-19 times, focus on immunity boosting products, campaign strategy, gearing up for the festive season and more.

The pandemic must have disrupted everyone and has put off guard every FMCG brand. How are you coping now, and what has been your strategy for the last few months to make sure essentials like Fortune Atta, edible oil, Basmati rice, etc., are easily available to the end customer?

The COVID-19 pandemic came as a huge disruption, affecting manpower availability, and disrupting supply chain logistics. However, we kept our plants running throughout to ensure that there was no shortage of essential food items. We have gradually increased the production to the pre-COVID levels. We are also studying the changing consumer preferences so that we can make changes accordingly. We continue to increase our marketing and distribution reach to cater to customers better. We are also increasing our presence in rural areas so that our products are available in the smallest and remotest parts of the country.

Immunity boosters have become very important these days. How are you building the immunity boosters in your various products or are you launching new product lines with immunity boosters built in it? Is Fortune Soya Badi a new addition in the immunity booster range?

Immunity boosting products are in focus because of COVID-19. Our range of products comprises basic products such as edible oil, rice, atta, besan, etc. We are already communicating about the immunity-boosting nutrients such as Vitamins A and D in our range of refined edible oils such as Soyabean, Sunflower and the health benefits of other products like Khichdi, which has the goodness of millets like ragi, flax, sesame, jowar and bajra. Moreover, Fortune Rice Bran Oil is rich in natural antioxidants, which helps in boosting immunity. As far as Soya Nuggets is concerned, they are a proven rich source of proteins and works as a powerhouse for the body.

To promote your new Fortune Soya Badi, you have launched a new TVC using the health, fitness, and nutrition platform. Why did you prefer Sourav Ganguly as your brand ambassador when you had a more powerful star like MS Dhoni who hails from the East and is a better brand fit when it comes to health and fitness and he is still popular?

Both Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni are top sporting icons in the country. The reason we picked Sourav for the Soya Badi TVC is that it is focuses more on markets as West Bengal, Odisha, and North East. He has a very warm connect with the East India audience, as well as a connect at a pan India scale. The TVC is set in Bengali to establish a local connection with the viewers.

What was your objective for this film? Who is your primary target audience for this?  What is the brief you gave to your creative agency? What’s the core idea for the film? How did you manage to execute the film as lockdown is still not completely relaxed?

The TVC is very progressive and gives a message of woman empowerment. It features a girl playing cricket, which is meant to relate to the fact that more and more women are now taking to sports. The core idea is to show Soya Badi as a rich source of proteins, and hence it is shown as boosting strength. The TVC asks viewers to try a new brand of soya badi, in line with change in cricket, where the red ball is making way for the pink ball. The TVC was executed by the production team in presence of the creative agency, while we monitored the shoot from the head office.

Have the supply chain and distribution restored to some amount of normalcy to reach the last mile? Is E-commerce playing an important role during these times? Are you also leveraging this channel effectively?

Yes, the supply chain and distribution are almost normal now. Even during the nationwide lockdown, when logistics was proving to be a major hurdle, we had tied up with Swiggy, JustmyRoots and other platforms for delivering our products at the customer’s doorstep, and this worked really well. We realise the potential of e-commerce and have tie-ups with leading e-commerce players like Amazon and Flipkart, and aggregators such as Grofers and Big Basket. We continue to be on the lookout for more such avenues that can help us in reaching customers.

How are you geared up for the festive season? Are you running any tactical campaign with freebies to woo the consumers?

Festival season is a critical period for FMCG business, and we want to make the most of it. We are aggressively promoting our brands and products on various platforms. We are working on various campaigns to win over customers.

There is a lot of talk on rural and small markets stimulating good demand. Are you looking at these markets aggressively to capture the buying and festivity sentiments to revive the economy?

We are seeing strong demand from rural and smaller markets in the last couple of months. This could be because of the reverse migration that we have witnessed from larger cities and towns. The progress of monsoon has been good, and this should have a positive impact on agricultural production. We believe that rural markets will continue to drive demand for FMCG products going ahead too.

How are you planning your overall media strategy? With digital acceleration happening are you going to shift your focus to digital?

We continue to reach out to customers through traditional media as well as the new media. Since viewers are shifting to the digital medium, we are also increasing our focus on it. We are trying to leverage digital media through consumer education and customised content for consumers with interest in Taste, Health & Functional Health on various platforms. We are also coming out with fresh TV commercials from time to time to connect with the customers.


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